Skate wing, with its corrugated texture, is one of the most interesting fish to eat — getting the last of the flesh away from the bone is like cleaning stray hairs from a comb — and yet we should not be eating it. Too late I learned from Seafood Watch that skate are seriously endangered and should be avoided. Like sharks, they reproduce slowly, and they are taken through the highly destructive method of trawling. (Mackerel are in the "best" category, but that was just a lucky stab for us.)
I would be glad to learn that skate had been replaced on the menu by petrale sole or some other type of local, floundery fish that might not be as fascinatingly ribbed but isn't teetering on the brink, either. The Rosenthals are eminences here; if they set a good and conspicuous example, others will follow. It would be a great help to ordinary diners if restaurants simply refused to buy and serve any seafood whose populations aren't in sustainable shape (per Seafood Watch or some similar authority) and indicated as much on their menus — maybe with a smiling or dancing fish icon?
Sundries: desserts ($7) are mostly in the American grain, including a lewdly moist warm chocolate Bundt cake and some nostalgia-laced butter pecan ice cream, presented in two scoops. The house-blend wines, including a fruity-floral white, are available on tap (from steel barrels) and are presented in several sizes of nifty apothecary bottles, near relations of the water jugs and perhaps of the saltshakers, if they ever come to pass.<\!s>
Mon.–<\d>Fri., 11:30–<\d>1 a.m.; Sat., 5 p.m.–<\d>1:30 a.m.; Sun., 5 p.m.–<\d>midnight
545 Mission, SF